Clinton presidency year by year CAMPAIGN 1996


Here are some of the significant moments of President Clinton's first term.


Nov. 11: In his first public address as president-elect, Clinton pledges on Veterans Day to carry out a campaign promise to rescind the U.S. military's 50-year ban on homosexuals.


Jan. 22: Two days after he is inaugurated and on the 20th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, President Clinton issues executive orders overturning five restrictions on abortion established during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

Jan. 29: Clinton unveils a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.

Feb. 2: Clinton signs the Family and Medical Leave Act that would require large companies to provide workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child or a family medical emergency.

March 3: On the 32nd anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps by President Kennedy, Clinton outlines his proposals for a national service program designed for young people to repay loans for education through community service. "AmeriCorps" clears Congress on Sept. 8, and Clinton signs it into law on Sept. 21.

May 19: Clinton administration officials dismiss all seven members of the White House travel office, citing fiscal mismanagement, but reinstate five of them on May 25 after reports emerge suggesting that their ouster came at the urging of family and friends who wanted a share of the White House travel business.

June 14: Clinton chooses Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals, for a vacancy on the Supreme Court. She becomes the second woman on the high court and the first Democratic-nominated Supreme Court justice since 1967.

June 26: Pledging a "very aggressive" policy in punishing nations believed to sponsor terrorism, Clinton orders a missile attack on Iraq's intelligence headquarters in Baghdad after learning of an Iraqi plot to assassinate former President Bush.

Aug. 10: After passing the House by two votes and the Senate by one, Clinton's budget bill becomes law. It provides for $255 billion in spending cuts and $241 billion in new taxes over five years.

Sept. 22: Before a joint session of Congress, Clinton unveils his $350 billion health-care reform proposal guaranteeing health insurance coverage to all Americans. Drafted by a task force chaired by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, the proposal is met with immediate criticism and dies in Congress a year later.

Dec. 8: Clinton signs into law the North American Free Trade Agreement among the United States, Canada and Mexico. The pact removes many tariffs and trade restrictions among the three nations.


May 13: Clinton nominates Judge Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, Mass., to the Supreme Court. He is confirmed July 29.

Sept. 13: Clinton signs a $30.2 billion anti-crime bill that calls for more police, prisons and crime-prevention programs; a ban on some types of assault weapons; the expansion of the federal death penalty; and a "three strikes and you're out" mandate.

Sept. 18: Clinton dispatches an armada to Haiti to oust a military dictatorship there. Before it lands, former President Jimmy Carter secures an agreement that brings democratically elected Jean Bertrand Aristide back to power by Oct. 15.

Nov. 9: At a news conference in the aftermath of the Republican victories in the mid-term elections, Clinton accepts "my share of the responsibility" for the message sent by the voters.


Jan. 31: Invoking presidential emergency authority, Clinton provides a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its falling currency and to help the country avoid defaulting on its short-term debt.

June 13: Clinton bucks congressional leaders in his own party by agreeing to Republican demands that the federal budget be put on a path to balance.

July 11: Clinton re-establishes full diplomatic ties with Vietnam.

July 19: After a five-month White House review of federal affirmative action programs, Clinton offers a vigorous defense of the policies, saying "the job of ending discrimination in this country is not over."

Dec. 7: A day after vetoing a seven-year balanced budget package, Clinton offers his own seven-year plan, his third budget proposal of the year. Partisan budget wrangling forces federal government shutdowns.

Dec. 14: Clinton witnesses the formal signing in Paris of a Bosnian peace plan brokered at U.S.-sponsored talks in Dayton, Ohio. The treaty calls for the deployment of 60,000 peacekeeping troops, 20,000 of which would be American.


April 10: Clinton vetoes a bill that would have banned late-term abortions.

May 28: Jim and Susan McDougal, Clinton's Whitewater partners, and Jim Guy Tucker, the man who succeeded him as governor of Arkansas, are convicted of fraud charges that grew out of the Whitewater land deal.

Aug. 20-22: Clinton signs into law a 90-cent minimum wage increase, a new measure making health insurance more portable from job to job, and a massive overhaul of the welfare system, capping a legislative flurry just before a congressional recess began Aug. 3.

Pub Date: 8/26/96

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